Local News


CONTACT 13: Nevada law allows for dangerous, exotic animals

Posted at 4:58 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 23:09:53-05
Two recent cases of animal neglect in Pahrump raise the question:  Are you allowed to have animals like big cats in your home? What are the laws?  
According to the Humane Society, the Carolinas, Alabama, Wisconsin and Nevada---are the only places with no state laws keeping you or your neighbor from owning tigers or bears.   
All other states have some restrictions on exotic animals -- including big cats, bears, primates and some reptiles.
21 states ban wild animals all together.  Others allow some, with special permits. Click here for the full list of animal laws in each state.
In Nevada it's mostly up to the counties and cities to decide what animals people can keep. 
The Nevada Division of Wildlife prohibits us from owning alligators and foxes.  You can't keep a Wild European Rabbit or a walking catfish.  And you're not allowed to have a tiger fish, but you can have a tiger. See below for the full list of prohibited species.   
The Humane Society says Nevada needs tougher laws to stop some of the situations like we've been seeing in Pahrump. Humane Society provided this statement:
Nevada is one of only five states that still have virtually no laws regarding the private possession of dangerous wild animals and is seen as a haven for individuals with private menageries of big cats, bears, primates, and other species. If Nevada fails to join the majority of states that have addressed this issue, it will continue to attract a growing problem that endangers public safety, jeopardizes animal welfare, and creates a burden for taxpayers.
Clark County recently adopted new laws which restrict people from owning most wild and exotic animals.       
According to Nevada law (NAC 503.110) the following species are prohibited:  
Lampreys, stingray, freshwater shark, Bowfin, Gars, Herring and shad, European Whitefish, Mexican banded tetra, Piranhas, South American Parasitic Catfish, White Perch, Freshwater drum, Grass carp, Pike top minnow, Snakehead, Walking catfish, Tiger fish, Sticklebacks, Tilapia, Nile perch, Goldeye, Northern Pike, Asian swamp eel, 
Alligators, Crocodiles, Gharial, Bird snake, Boomslang, Keelbacks, Burrowing Asps, Coral snakes, cobras, kraits, mambas, Pit vipers and true vipers, Snapping turtles, 
Clawed frogs, Giant or marine toads
Wild dogs, Raccoon dog, Mongooses and Meerkats, Wild European Rabbit, Multimammate Rat or Mouse, Bats, Nutria, Coyote, Foxes, Raccoon, Skunk, Wild pigs and hogs, Axis deer, Red deer, elk and wapiti, Rusa deer, Sambar deer, Sika deer, Roe deer, White-tailed deer, Moose, Redbucks, Oryx and Gemsbok, Addax, Blesbok, Topi and Bontebok, Hartebeests, Wildbeest and Gnus, Chamois, Tahr, Ibex, Wild Goats, Tur and Markhor, Barbary Sheep, Mourflon sheep, Urial, Bighorn and Argali, Pink Starling or Rosy Pastor, Red-billed Dioch, Red-whiskered Bulbul, 
Asiatic mitten crab, Crayfish, African giant snail, Zebra and quagga mussels, New Zealand mud snail.